The deck of the Gresleta had turned into a bit of a party venue.
As for why it was 「a bit」, it was because there were only ten people with both delegations put together.
That being said, the fact that what seemed to be a band was playing music with a calm atmosphere was most likely a common spectacle in mankind ceremonies.
Rokuna thought “come to think of it, the Mazoku don’t have a culture with the thing called music either……”.
And then, although Vermudol had considered the introduction of minstrels before, she remembered that he was troubled over how it wasn’t going very well. For the Mazoku who don’t have stability, it was probably hard for the culture of concentrating their ears on the minstrels’ poems to take root.
「Oh man, we’re terribly sorry. It seems that the preparations met some unexpected difficulties.」
Torcresta appeared in Rokuna’s field of vision as she was surveying the area.
After accepting the glass that he offered to her, Rokuna expressed a smile and answered.
「No, we didn’t wait all that much.」
「Hahaha, it really helps for you to say that.」
When the glasses were distributed to everyone, Torcresta nodded looking satisfied.
「Today, we were able to have great discussion. How about we have a toast to our friendship with one another?」
「Yes, I believe that would be good.」
Rokuna nodded back, and everyone raised their glasses.
「Well then……To the friendship of both nations.」
Together with the cue for a toast, the glasses rang.
This sort of meal place was prepared in order to have conversations that couldn’t happen in solemn atmospheres like the one in the conference. And then, at the same time, it was also a place to make tongues slip easier with alcohol and pull out information.
That wouldn’t apply this time.
Rokuna, who grasped the most information on the Zadark Kingdom, knew to control herself.
Arum, who seemed like she would have a slip of the tongue the most, held almost no information to slip, and since Lumon was pushed to take care of her, it should be fine.
Margaret possessed a fair amount of information, but Rokuna could have a peace of mind by leaving her to Altejio.
That is why, even if the Cylas Empire were to try and pull out information from them in this dinner party, they wouldn’t be able to obtain anything.
Rokuna didn’t know if they understood that or not, but Melmeris quickly approached Margaret.
「Eh? Ah, yes. It was M, Melmeris-dono, right?」
「Yes. I am Melmeris, the one entrusted with the Iron Fourth Seat.」
When Melmeris expressed a gentle smile, he immediately lowered his head.
「We are terribly sorry for how Azorto did something so rude earlier……I would like to apologize in her place.」
「Of course, I understand that there would be no recompense even if someone like me is apologizing. However, as long as Azorto is participating as part of the delegation, her impoliteness is our country’s impoliteness, and I cannot let you return offended like th……」
「P, please wait a moment!」
Margaret was flapping her hands about and interrupted Melmeris’s words.
「It, it wasn’t anything to apologize like that for……」
「No, I cannot just leave it like that.」
Margaret hurriedly stopped Melmeris as he tried to lower his head again.
「I, I wasn’t particularly bothered by it after all!」
「……Is that so. I am grateful for your magnanimous heart. In that case, I shall stop this kind of talk. Would you allow for a different talk?」
「Y, yes. Of course!」
Seeing Margaret say that with a smiling face that looked like she was relieved, Melmeris also replied with a smiling face.
Altejio nonchalantly guarded her, but Margaret gently touched Altejio as if to say “there’s no need to worry”. She was able to properly select what could be talked about and what shouldn’t be talked about.
Lumon, who was watching Margaret’s situation, concentrated on his glass at the edge of the ship.
He was told by Rokuna to watch over Arum, but there was no need to worry about her.
After attending to her a bit, he immediately understood.
Within Arum, there was the brilliance of sound intelligence. When things become troublesome, she would merely pretend to be an idiot. Moreover, since she would seriously not think about anything, no one could see through that.
It was like that even now. She was drinking glass after glass of alcohol and dancing on top of the table, but at the same time, she was investigating the area with magical power without letting her guard down.
Her flashy gestures that seemed foolish at a glance, they were for the sake of deceiving others.
Unless one believed it to be like that and saw it as such like Lumon did, they probably wouldn’t understand.
「……What’s going on, standing spaced out in a place like this.」
Being called out to, Lumon turned only his gaze to where it came from.
What was there was the figure of Azorto munching on some roasted beans.
After Azorto swallowed the beans in her mouth, she held wine in her mouth and made an audible gulp with a *gokuri*.
It was clear that she was waiting for Lumon’s response while doing that, so Lumon answered while expressing a smile.
「Well, I’m not too good with the lively atmosphere. So I ran away to a place like this.」
「Hmm? It doesn’t look like that though.」
When Azorto stood next to Lumon, she looked at the direction that Lumon’s gaze was turned to earlier.
What was there was Arum and Eirhart linking arms and dancing.
「Aーrara, that Eirhart. He ended up going with the flow, didn’t he.」
「Fufufu, it looks pretty fun, doesn’t it.」
Paying closer attention, even the music had changed to something fun and had a good rhythm.
Keeping her gaze turned towards Arum’s group as they were like that, Azorto talked to Lumon.
「You see, I, inherited my title from Kaa-san.」
「Well, I can see that happening.」
「The title of Blademaster isn’t light. To inherit it, is to accept the resolve and responsibility that goes along with it.」
「I see. That does sound difficult.」
Hearing Lumon make such half-minded interjections, Azorto narrowed her eyes.
「……Yeah, it’s difficult. It’s because there are also times where I have to have a hand in things even when I think it’s a pain.」
「I can sympathize with that.」
After Azorto said that, she cut into Lumon’s view and whispered.
「In that case, could you tell me one thing?」
「What is it? If it’s about Demon King-sama, I can’t tell you anything, you know?」
「No, that’s not it. I, want to know about you.」
Even after hearing Azorto’s words that were tinged with a savage sound to them, Lumon’s smile didn’t break.
「Me you say? Haha, I’m not all that strong you know?」
「Is that so?」
「Yes, it is.」
Seeing the smiling Lumon, Azorto also returned a smile.
「It’s fine if it’s like that though.」
It seemed that Azorto didn’t feel the same way.
The presence that Lumon emitted, it was normal among the Zadark Kingdom’s delegation. He did not stand out too much, nor was he too hidden by it. If it were to be put plainly, he was ordinary. That is why he was late to notice.
「For me, I see you as something unbelievably dangerous. But, I also don’t see you as someone trying to do something here.」
「You are overestimating me. I am, Demon King-sama’s loyal……well, I wouldn’t exactly be called an underling, but I am in middle management.」
Saying “I’m the same as him”, Lumon pointed at Eirhart.
Peeking over at Eirhart who was cheerfully dancing with Arum, Azorto laughed with a “hah”.
「If it’s just as you say, it would have ended without me reading too much into things like this though.」
「Oya, to be that interested in a small fry like me……Are you surprisingly sensitive?」
After glaring at the joking Lumon, Azorto breathed a rough sigh.
「Here’s the thing about heroes. They need to be idiots that can’t read the atmosphere to a certain degree. For a wise hero, they would just find things annoying in all sorts of ways. It’d be a different story if they want to live a difficult life though.」
「Looks like you’ve personally experienced it, haven’t you?」
「Looking at Luu-oba-san, I’d notice it even if I didn’t want to. Teria-san was also the same way after all……」
Heroes are those that are respected.
Even for Azorto who was burdened with the fate worthy of a hero at birth, she also lived in a way that was appropriate for it.
However, at the same time, she also paid careful attention so that she wouldn’t get involved with politics. It was because she knew very well how much people would lead her around by the nose if she were to get involved with it.
That is why Azorto was paying attention so that she wouldn’t be used. She refused all executive positions, and continued to be an individual.
「The Demon King killing heroes huh. Recently, those books have entered our country as well.」
「Hahn, the Hero Legend, huh. Books like that, in the end, they’re aimed towards children.」
「Oya, how harsh. Isn’t it about your own mother and her group?」
When Lumon made a wry smile, Azorto clicked her tongue and emptied her glass.
「Kaa-san’s group……The Hero-sama’s group, they were straightforward in persisting with it. But, it’s not like it was always a steady advance. There were also befitting setbacks, and they walked a path that was hardened underfoot with blood and tears. To hand pick only the pretty parts from that, it’s only natural that it’s a fairy-tale aimed towards children.」
Most likely, she had probably heard various things from her mother.
Lumon felt like he also wanted to hear those stories, but he only said “is that so” and made a vague smile.
「Ah, come to think of it, there is something I want to try asking you.」
「What is it?」
In response to Azorto who said that sounding like she found it to be a pain, Lumon asked the question with eyes that were immensely curious.
「In the end, the Hero Ryuuya, what did he do after all of that? It isn’t written down anywhere, is it.」
「Nn……Well, if I had to say if I knew or not, I do know but.」
When Azorto said that, she turned her back to Lumon.
「I won’t tell you. Enjoy imagining it on your own.」
「Ehhー? That’s so mean. Isn’t it fine if you tell me?」
「I don’t wanna. I don’t have a duty of answering you who glossed over my question, now do I.」
Saying that, Azorto stepped away from Lumon.
Lumon saw her off together with a wry smile……and going “come to think of it”, he searched for Arum with his gaze.
When he did, he saw that Arum was doing some kind of one-liner.
She might look like a talented beautiful young girl to those who were meeting her for the first time, but from the point of view of those who knew Arum from the time she was in a suspicious elder form, it would surely give them an extraordinarily complicated feeling.
「……Uーn, when I leave her alone for a bit, it turned into something amazing. What should I do about that.」
After worrying about it for a while.
「Well, if it’s just that much, it should be fine as an image strategy.」
Muttering that, Lumon looked up at the starry sky.